CfP: Portals as Places of Transformation (Bamberg, 11-14 January 2018)

Final Conference of the BMBF Project “Portals as Places of Transformation”
The medieval church portal is in many respects a place of transformation. At the threshold of a church, various spheres converge
and meet: secular – ecclesiastic, corporeal – spiritual, earthly – divine. Iconography and formal design offer ample evidence of this
unique situation. At the same time, church portals themselves are objects of change: their appearances are constantly shifting due to
modification, chromatic reworking and restorative endeavours. After all, modernism declared portals works of art, and this change of status
was accompanied by a further metamorphosis: The medieval portal became an aesthetic object and thereby an exhibit with alternative forms of
presentation.
The international final conference of the BMBF Project „Portals as Places of Transformation“ (University of Bamberg, Chair in Medieval Art
History, Professorship in Building Preservation Sciences, Professorship in Building History and Building Archaeology) will provide various
conference sections focusing on central issues of continuity and change as they pertain to medieval portals:
Section 1: Conceptual design of medieval portals. The interplay of architecture and sculpture (building design, design methods,
proportions, room arrangement)
Section 2: Construction of medieval portals. Structural analyses for the documentation of transformation processes (footing, interlinking of
constructive units, masonry technique, types of stone, structural analysis, construction process)
Section 3: Iconographic programmes. The portal as a place of spiritual transformation in the Middle Ages (Iconography, text and image,
eschatological themes, cosmos/cardinal directions)
Section 4: Medieval bronze and wood doors (doors, hinges, mountings, closing and latching mechanisms)
Section 5: Changing portals. Secular and liturgical use (medieval procession liturgies, user hierarchy, liturgical dramas and legal acts)
Section 6: Adaptations, alterations and modifications of portals (restoration layers, renovation measures, surface treatments,
maintenance, supplementation using copies, copying techniques in stone, plaster und synthetic materials)
Section 7: The portal as a work of art (museum displays, illuminations, repurposing, virtual presentations and representations)
The conference languages are German, English and French. Please send your abstract (max. 1500-2000 characters, including spaces) to
Katja.Schroeck@uni-bamberg.de no later than 15 June 2017.

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